(Sept. 19) Consumers can dive in to packages of red and white endives as California Vegetable Specialties, Rio Vista, Calif., introduces an overwrapped1-pound retail tray of the product.

Packaged 10 to a case, there are two white California Pearl and two red Belles Rouges brand endives in each package, along with a 2.75- by 4.75-inch booklet featuring salad and appetizer recipes.

Consumers can purchase the package for $2.99-3.49.

“This is a relatively new innovation,” said Richard Collins, president of the firm. “It’s one of the first times people will be able to purchase red and white endives together in a package with recipes.”

Chef Isabelle van den Berghe, the culinary director at California Vegetable Specialties, developed the recipes. Endives can replace chips and crackers when used as an appetizer and are featured in the salad, Collins said. However, the habit is to mix endives with other greens, such as spinach.

“Consumers typically pick up two to four endives at a time, so this new packaging will give them an opportunity to purchase both red and white varieties in one convenient pack,” Collins said. “It’s also well-suited for the retailer to merchandise as a value-added item in the refrigerated produce display case.

California Pearl endives are a creamy pale color as a result of growing in darkness and have a slightly bitter taste. Belles Rouges, also grown in darkness, are a cross between a white endive and treviso, the red Italian chicory similar in shape to hearts of romaine lettuce.

This 1-pound tray will be available in stores nationwide on Oct.1 and will be produced year-round.